More severe charges preferred against US national Edward Tobbin

Pravda.ru has already reported that U.S. national John Edward Tobbin was charged with illegal possession of drugs after being arrested in the Russian city of Voronezh on February 1. Now more serious charges were preferred against him. The charges of repeated acquisition of illegal drugs for the purpose of sale and of running a drug consumption den followed the re-interrogation of two witnesses on Tuesday, the Voronezh police reported. The former offence provides for up to 10 years in prison and the latter up to four years. The initial charge did not involve intentions to sell drugs. It has been surmised that Tobbin is also an espionage suspect, but the head of the regional branch of the security service FSB, Lt. Col. Igor Malyavin, said on Tuesday that his agency is not pursuing any spy proceedings against him, Interfax reports. "However, in connection with the new information, the [FSB and police] have begun looking into that," Malyavin told the press.